Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
The Cardinals have all but pleaded with defensive lineman Darnell Dockett to cut down on unnecessary penalties, including dead-ball fouls. Perhaps the approach is working.
The league has fined Redskins tackle Stephon Heyer $5,000 for shoving Dockett unnecessarily away from the play in Week 3. Officials flagged Heyer on the play, wiping out a 68-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.
Dockett is a tough matchup for just about anyone. He's also very aggressive and quick off the ball, a combination that doesn't always sit well with offensive linemen. There's no telling what Dockett might have done to anger Heyer, but Dockett did not immediately retaliate. That is progress.
Update: Thanks to spooneycardsfan and Corrupt3d for providing some context in the comments section. That prompted me to dial up the play on my DVR. Cardinals linebacker Gerald Hayes took down Clinton Portis hard and awkwardly near the sideline on a play. Heyer then drove Dockett downfield on a Portis run. Dockett grabbed Portis around the neck as he tackled him. Portis was not happy. Portis then slammed into Dockett hard while protecting the passer. Dockett absorbed the blow and reversed the charges, sending Portis into the air. Dockett and Portis were squaring off when Heyer came over and decked Dockett. I wonder, in retrospect, if Dockett was about to engage Portis in a penalty-drawing duel. Dockett and Portis were not fined for their actions during this game.